Aaron Carter, who became a major teenage sensation of the late ’90s – selling millions of albums – was found dead early Saturday in a bathtub inside his Lancaster, Calif. home, reports TMZ.
The troubled star was 34 years old.
“Extra” learned that a 911 call from Aaron’s home came in at 10:58 a.m. Saturday. The deputies reportedly asked Narcan on the dispatch tape.
Carter was arrested on suspicion of impaired driving just three days ago when he was seen driving an RV erratically. Melanie Martin, his recurring girlfriend, was driving behind him.
In September, fans rang in for a wellness check when Carter appeared to swallow an unknown substance on Instagram Live. The check was done and he played it all as a joke.
Carter was a regular on social media, where he recently claimed to have been five years sober in October.
His fans suspected otherwise.
Carter – the younger brother of Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter – had been rocking a look that was a far cry from his teenage pinup days of late, sporting face tattoos and appearing gaunt and sickly.
He had also recently dipped his toe in the OnlyFans worldproviding explicitly sexual content that stood in stark contrast to the squeaky clean image it once had to uphold.
This all came after a desperately sad 2019 appearance on “The Doctors,” on which he said he was bipolar, schizophrenic and heavily medicated.
It had all started so promisingly for Carter, who as a child had been propelled onto the Orlando music scene by his parents, Jane, who had become music manager, and Robert. If his parents manage a retirement home, they quickly become actors in the music industry, which explodes in Orlando thanks to the illusory success of Lou Pearlman.
Pearlman had an eye for talent – he was the man behind the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC and a host of less famous teenage bands – but offered unfair contracts and was later found guilty of a scheme of Ponzi, dying in prison.
But all of Orlando was hot, and 7-year-old Carter was an adorable moppet. At age 9, his first album “Aaron Carter” on Edel was in the hands of many pre-teens.
Picked up by Jive Records, which had so much success with boy bands and with Britney Spears, its follow-up, “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)”, reportedly sold over three million units.
He had not yet reached puberty.
His third record “Oh Aaron” was also a platinum hit, although “Another Earthquake!” (2002) turned out to be disappointing.
In her heyday, Carter was a major draw for teenage magazines, posing for countless posters and pin-ups. And yet, as his albums flew off the shelves, he had a harder time breaking American radio, which considered him too young to be cool enough for heavy rotation.
Overseas, he has had great success with the singles “Crush On You” (1997), “Crazy Little Party Girl” (1998), “I’m Gonna Miss You Forever” (1998), “Surfin’ USA” ( 1998), and his signature song, the Bow Wow Wow remake, “I Want Candy” (2000).
He managed to reach No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2000 with “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)”, which went gold. His only other solo Hot 100 entry was his 2001 novelty “That’s How I Beat Shaq.”
Carter’s last album was “Love” in 2018.
Among Carter’s many unsung accomplishments, he took part in ‘Dancing with the Stars’ (2009), starred on Broadway at age 13 in ‘Seussical’ (2001) and off-Broadway in a 2011 production of ‘The Fantasticks’. , and has been, for years, a major tourist attraction. His family appeared on the reality series “House of Carters” in 2006, and he took part in a celebrity boxing batch against Lamar Odom in 2021.
In the early 2000s, when he made a guest appearance on “Lizzie McGuire” opposite Hilary Duff, Carter, Duff and Lindsay Lohan were part of a teen gossip love triangle that sold numerous teen gossip magazines. . His love life has always been an important aspect of the publicity around him; in 2017, when he came out as bisexual, it made international headlines.
Carter’s accomplishments were often overshadowed by negative headlines, including a lawsuit against Pearlman (who had run him for a time), arrests, a rocky relationship with a girlfriend he accused of threatening to stabbing him, Martin’s arrest for domestic violence, bankruptcy proceedings and a high-profile firing from a concert project in a Las Vegas production of “Naked Boys Singing” in 2021 when he refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Always courting controversy, Carter’s last tweet from Nov. 3 was directed at Kanye West, who is embroiled in his own scandal over his repeated anti-Semitic statements. Carter wanted to “talk… man to man.”
Aaron was predeceased by his sister Leslie, who died aged 25 in 2012 after overdosing on a prescription drug, and by his father, who died in 2017 aged 65.
He is survived by Martin, his ex-fiancée, and their 11-month-old son, Prince. He is also survived by his mother, brother Nick Carter, sister Bobbie Jean Carter and twin sister Angel Carter.